5 Keys to Optimal Fitness

You want to be healthy and fit, so why aren't you living life in your ideal body? There are lots of reasons that make weight loss a challenge for people, many of which go deeper than simply calories-in versus calories-out.

Below are 5 common obstacles to optimal health and solutions to unlock your best body ever.

It’s too much effort. Your habit may be to avoid pain and seek out pleasure. Unfortunately this works against you when trying to get fit. In your mind it's painful (or at least uncomfortable) to deny yourself the food you crave and to exert yourself with exercise. To overcome this obstacle, find something unpleasant about being overweight to motivate yourself towards healthy eating and exercise. Focus on the negative impact your current weight has on your health, self-esteem, and lifestyle. Convince yourself that the pain of being out of shape is much greater than the discomfort of losing weight.

You don't want to sacrifice the good stuff. Extra calories are not your only option to stimulate the pleasure center of your brain. Find an activity or two that you truly enjoy and indulge in those regularly. A walk outside, an uplifting book, a great movie, or a relaxing massage are great substitutes to invoke pleasure. You can also retrain your brain to actually crave the pleasure of exercise-induced endorphins.

You’re busy and overwhelmed. Like many people, you may work too much, over-commit, and lack enough sleep. The fast-paced way you live leaves you exhausted, stressed, and craving comfort food. You may even begin to feel too busy to take care of your health. If so, it's time to reprioritize. Let go of your perfectionist standards and remove a few commitments from your schedule so you’re able to cook healthy meals, exercise, and get a good night's sleep. Remind yourself that taking care of your health is not a luxury but a necessity.

You don't feel like you deserve it. Think back on the times you sabotaged your weight loss efforts. If you don't believe that you are worthy of your ideal physical state, then you'll never make this a reality. Changing feelings of unworthiness is critical to being able to maintain a healthy exercise and eating plan. Take the time to take care of yourself because you DO deserve it!

You feel afraid. You may feel afraid to start because you might fail. Or you may fear starting because you might succeed and change makes you uncomfortable—even if it's change in the right direction. Focus on all of the ways that losing weight will make your life better. Envision that better life everyday so that it goes from being new and scary to familiar and comfortable.

© 2011 Fitness Together Newton

Fitness Together provide fitness training studios helping people live better lives.  Sign up for their free e-newsletter at FitnessTogether.com.